Kendal is a passionate and ambitions 16 year old from Jersey. She enjoys leadership roles/partaking in events and organizations, public speaking, listening to music, and photography. In a nutshell, she’s a little bit of everything.
“EXCUSE ME YOUNG LADY, where do you think you’re going in that outfit!?!” About ten years ago she wore corduroy overalls with a sunflower hat; now her drawers are filled with tank tops and short-shorts and she’s got a pair of red flower high heels in her closet. Where did the little girl go? Think your daughter’s outfits are a bit skimpy or her low rise jeans are a tad too low? First let’s break it down to help you understand why teen girls do this, and how you can approach the situation!
With a lot more for them to –um “show”- it’s harder to tell them to keep it under wraps. Don’t worry parents, there’s a subtler way to flaunt it without overexposing- and an even easier way to say it! One reason why teens will begin to dress differently is because there are new physical elements we would like to show off. To be blunt: new curves= new style. We don’t want to shop in the kids section any longer. It’s all about an edgier look to accentuate our new bodies. As much as you’d like to click the rewind button back to the good ole’ days, we all have to face the facts: She’s growing up (and out).
Just to add another headache for dear old dad, the second purpose teen girls might dress provocatively is for attention from guys. Basic statistics says teen girls are physically attracted to teen guys and frankly, showing a little skin reels them in. Dressing less conservatively makes us appear more like a young woman, not like a child. The media portrays women on the red carpet in sexy dresses with outrageous fashions; magazines with pictures of ladies half naked. The sad truth is that some men seek females who will dress like this. Teenage girls can feel the pressure to dress more mature than their years for the sake of turning the head of a cute boy in the hallway.
The third reason may seem obvious, we teens do not want to appear childish or younger. Because clothing is a way of expression, we would like to express to the world our age. One of the most embarrassing things that can happen is when someone thinks your 12 when you’re really 17. (Considering that height and overall physical appearance play a role, attire does too.) We want to embrace our teen years!
Now what you’ve all been waiting for: how to address the problem.
Okay, so if you think your prima donna is wearing clothing that is suggestive, casually bring it up in conversation mentioning her fashion sense. Use these tips:
- Remember to not criticize your daughter, keep your cool (even if she doesn’t.)
- Don’t strike up the conversation when she’s about to walk out the door before going to a party. Instead, a couple days before ask her to try on the outfit and make your comments then. (Just in case you have to make a trip to the store for an exchange.)
- Try asking them in a peaceful way if they think their clothing is appropriate for the occasion. It seems less attacking if you ask for their opinion as opposed to thrashing your thoughts on them.
- Keep in mind there’s a time and place for everything; let them know that too! Daisy dukes are not for school, if they must, save it for the beach or around the house. And mini skits that are hip hugging are not for church.
- Teach them about dressing responsibly and that wearing suggestive clothes sends the wrong message.
- From time to time, compliment them on their outfit of choice if it looks nice; encouragement goes a long way.
- Say “I recognize that you’re growing up and I’m not trying to to offend your style, but I don’t think that outfit is suitable today. You have other great choices in your closet; can you please change your clothes?”
Continue to instill appropriate dress to your teenage daughter, it will pay off!
Photo Credit: Robert Bejil Photography
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